ASUS Backtracks On Voided Warranty Policy For AM5 Motherboards With AMD EXPO

7800x3d just killed itself and my mobo version2
If you follow hardware news at all, you are surely aware of the "exploding CPU" issue surrounding the Ryzen 7 7800X3D and certain Socket AM5 motherboards, particularly (but not exclusively) those from the ASUS ROG family. If you're not familiar, that's basically the gist of it right there: certain motherboards, when the memory is overclocked, run the processor with an excessively high SoC voltage that, in combination with a cascade of other failures, can make your processor literally explode.

It's a somewhat unlikely scenario, but it's feasible enough that it's happened to a small handful of people. Even if your CPU doesn't blow up and take the motherboard with it, the high SoC voltage can degrade your processor much more quickly than usual. Tech tubers Gamers Nexus were able to replicate the issue, and exploded one of their own precious Ryzen 7 7800X3D chips in the process.

asus rog crosshair bios disclaimer
The original disclaimer on ASUS' beta BIOS update.

Well, no big deal in the long run, right? Just put out a BIOS update that resolves the issue and carry on. Except that the BIOS updates that ASUS put out came with a disclaimer which you can read above. Perhaps it's poorly-written, or perhaps users were simply misunderstanding the disclaimer, but the consensus among fans was that the disclaimer implies a voided motherboard warranty upon installing the beta BIOS updates.

ASUS has now come out and very specifically stated that this isn't the case. In a tweet and a post on the company website, as well as e-mails and press releases sent out to many outlets, the company says it wants to "address the concerns that have been raised by [its] users about whether recent BIOS updates will impact the warranty of ASUS AM5 motherboards." The announcement goes on to explain that both beta and fully-validated BIOS updates are covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

asus warranty announcement screenshot

That would be good news even if that's all it said, but that isn't all it says. ASUS further explains two points: first of all, the company's warranty for its Socket AM5 boards also includes any configuration with AMD EXPO, Intel XMP, and DOCP enabled. In other words, memory overclocking is A-OK. The second point is less obvious; ASUS says that all of its recent BIOS updates follow the latest AMD AM5 voltage guidelines.

That's likely to quell any lingering fears folks may have about their processors going pop. Of course, the point of those updates was explicitly to prevent that from happening, so we'd certainly hope they achieve that goal. It's possible that the new firmware may reduce the maximum memory speed you can achieve, particularly if you were using four modules, but the only way to be sure is to try it and see. Unless you really need the memory capacity, you're probably better off using just two modules on Ryzen, anyway.

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Voltages after the latest firmware with EXPO enabled. Image: HWBusters

By the way, this issue isn't exclusive to ASUS motherboards. Over on the Hardware Busters blog, Grecian power wiz Aris Bitziopolous (better known as crmaris) has tested the fix when applied to a Gigabyte Aorus Master X670E motherboard. Before the new firmware, the board was hitting 1.42V—concerning, given that AMD has set a ceiling of just 1.3V. However, after the firmware, Gigabyte's board still supplies some 1.36V to the SoC when EXPO is enabled. Gamers Nexus also noted this behavior from a Gigabyte motherboard.

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Comfortable with soldering things to your motherboard to test it? Image: HWBusters

For its part, AMD clearly feels that it has resolved the problem on its end. The new AGESA firmware caps SoC voltage at 1.3V, and boards that exceed that value are outside of AMD's specifications. Unfortunately, testing your board is going to require a meter and some probes, because it's likely that the reported voltage is not necessarily what is being fed to your CPU. That's the case with the Aorus Master X670E board.

If you're concerned about whether you're affected by this issue, the first thing we'd recommend is to grab the latest firmware for your Socket AM5 motherboard. (If you're not on AM5, then you aren't affected.) After that, set up your system the way you normally would and then check your SoC voltage in an application like OCCT or HWiNFO64. If it's below 1.3V, you're almost assuredly fine. If it's riding the edge of 1.3V, and perhaps especially if you have a high-end Gigabyte motherboard, we might try manually lowering it just to be safe.